At the age of seven, I started developing Eczema. What started off as a small patch on my leg, soon spread to my face, neck, hands, elbow, knees and feet. As all parents would do, they took me to my family doctor to get it under control. The doctor told me I had eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, and there was no cure…
The plan of action was to apply a steroid based cream to the affected areas to keep it under control. If I got any flare ups, I applied tacrolimus ointment. Eczema sufferers know that it is the worst at night when the itching kicks in. What do doctors prescribe for that? An antihistamine. I was given it in liquid form which knocked me out. Applying the steroid cream and taking antihistamines was my only option for the foreseeable future.
After moving to another city and switching Doctors, he referred me to a skin specialist at a reputable children’s hospital. Their plan of action was:
- An oil bath 3 times a day to keep my skin moisturized
- Apply the steroid creams to the affected areas
- Take antihistamines as needed
I soon developed allergies to all nuts, kiwis, pineapples, shrimp, tomatoes, dust and seasonal changes. As a result of my eczema, I also have asthma. At this point, my parents and I just wanted to keep it under control and not let it get any worse. However, the more I used the steroid creams, it would always come back stronger resulting me to use it more often. Not one doctor told me my body would develop an addiction to steroid creams…
Fast forward to the year of 2008, I could feel my eczema just getting worse and no medication was keeping it under control. My parents and I knew I had to try something other than what western medicine was prescribing me and we came across Homeopathy. We found a Homeopathic doctor who said he would be able to cure me. After hearing from numerous doctors that eczema had no cure, it was a relief to hear that but I was also skeptical. The Doctor interviewed us for an hour to find out my entire medical history, my personality and what medication I was using before this.
Homepoathic medicine is prescribed keeping in mind the condition as well as the individual’s personality. The medicine is in liquid form which is then diluted with distilled water. After preparation, it can be either taken orally or by soaking the solution into small sugar pills which you let dissolve in your mouth. I was also told to seize all western medication I was taking, including the steroid creams…
No one told us what would happen if one day I suddenly stopped applying steroid creams after multiple years of doing so. At the time, no one knew that I went through what is called Topical Steroid Withdrawal (click here to read more about TSW and my experience)…The homeopathic doctor didn’t know neither did my family doctor. I thought the homeopathic medicine was causing all the gruesome side effects of steroid withdrawal. After one of the worst 6-8 months of my life, I started getting better. No signs of eczema whatsoever. I did have seasonal allergies and dry skin but that was a much better trade off than having eczema and practically having no sleep at all.
Fast forward to 2014 and my eczema started to reappear again. My face became red with constant flare ups and started developing eczema again. As my Doctor said, due to the high ragweed and pollen count, my eczema was flaring up and I took reactine to help with the symptoms . I wanted to get my eczema under control again and my doctor referred me to another specialist. This specialist didn’t even take the time to take a look at my skin. He wrapped up my appointment within 10 minutes after waiting a couple of hours for him. What was this Specialists plan of action? Take an oil bath 3 times a week, apply a steroid based cream (Hydroval) to my face and Betaderm (to my body) and take reactine.
The Return of my Eczema
Come 2016, the steroid cream, Hydroval, I was using almost on a daily basis, was pretty much ineffective. The minute I stopped it, my face became red again. I went back to my doctor and was told again that due to the high pollen and ragweed count, the flare ups were going to be more frequent. Fortunately, I wasn’t prescribed a stronger steroid cream or I would have been in a much worse state.
I decided to take my health into my own hands and started researching online. I finally came across multiple forums online discussing Topical Steroid Withdrawal/ Red Skin Syndrome and everything clicked in my head. What happened to me in 2008 wasn’t because of Homeopathic medicine nor was I cured because of it. My body went through TSW because of my continued use of steroid creams and then the abruptly stopping it.
Then I realized, I was back to square one…From 2014 to 2016, I was pretty much using Hydroval and Betaderm on a daily basis. I realized I had to go through Topical Steroid Withdrawal once again. I lost all my faith with doctors and medicine. After I stopped using my creams right away, my eczema was at its worst again. I took a medical leave late 2017 and after going through TSW again, I returned to work in April 2017. Even though, I am not 100% yet, I am working towards that through diet, supplement, natural home remedies and the support of my family & friends.
I am hoping that sharing my story and how I got better will help you on your road to recovery!